Saturday, June 10, 2017

Join us to Watch Dance-Making for "The Face of Battle" with Dana Tai Soon Burgess Dance Co. at Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery

Publicity photo for "After 1001 Night" by Jeff Watts
RSVP to watch dancers rehearse for the upcoming performance of "After 1001 Nights", inspired by the emotional National Portrait Gallery exhibition "The Face of Battle: Americans at War, 9/11 to Now", currently on display at the museum. Dana Tai Soon Burgess is the Smithsonian’s first choreographer-in-residence. The public rehearsal will take place in “Face of Battle: Americans at War 9/11 to Now”; Louie Palu room. Join the Diplomats of Dance Society at 1:00pm in the lobby on F Street to tour the exhibition, watch the rehearsal, and have some refreshments while speaking one on one with Dana and the dancers afterward in the National Portrait Gallery's Courtyard Cafe.

Click here to RSVP now! Space is limited!

The premiere of the final performance will be on Saturday, July 8th, 2pm and 4pm in the museum's Kogod Courtyard.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Conversation, Dance and a Book Signing for DTSBDC at the Arts Club

Last night, the Arts Club of Washington hosted a talk-back with DTSBDC Board President Bonnie Kogod and Dana Tai Soon Burgess, featuring excerpts of the recent dances created from exhibitions at the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, where Dana is the first-ever choreographer in residence. It was stirring and wonderful by all accounts! The audience was engaged about the history-making artistic residency, and we look forward to seeing them on July 8th in the beautiful Kogod Courtyard of the museum!

Dana Tai Soon Burgess and Bonnie Kogod

DTSBDC dancers performing an exerpt from a recent work by Burgess

Image from Matailong Du's book, DTSBDC@25
Dana and artist Matailong Du had a book signing event with National Portrait Gallery historian Amy Henderson at the Arts Club of Washington​l. The book, DTSBDC@25, comes from photographs by Matailong that document Dana's creating process on the first dance, "Margin", that he created at National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution after being named choreographer in residence. Please contact DTSBDC if you want a copy. Dana's next project "After 1001 Nights" will be premiering on July 8th, 2017, with open rehearsals in June, at the National Portrait Gallery. (Event photos by Wanyu Zhang)

Matailong Du, Dana Tai Soon Burgess and Amy Henderson

Matailong Du with DTSBDC@25

Friday, May 5, 2017

Take a watch: Smithsonian's first-ever choreographer in residence

Watch these two short videos about Dana Tai Soon Burgess and his role as the Smithsonian's first-ever choreographer in residence, creating new works with his dancers and team inspired by intriguing exhibitions at the National Portrait Gallery!

Friday, April 21, 2017

Opening Reception of "Artistry Portrayed: Photographs of DTSBDC's 'Margin'"

Photograph by artist Matailong Du ("Duma") of the production of DTSBDC's "Margin" in October 2016.

Join us for the opening reception of "Artistry Portrayed" and see photographs by Corcoran School School of the Arts and Design student Matailong Du (MA, New Media Photojournalism) that artfully document the production of "Margin", a dance performed by the internationally renowned Dana Tai Soon Burgess Dance Company at the National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution in October 2016, where six portraits from the Outwin 2016 exhibition were transformed into dance.

When: Tuesday May 2nd, 5-7pm
Where: Luther W. Brady Art Gallery, 805 21st Street NW, 2nd floor
RSVP here

Friday, March 3, 2017

Behind the Scenes With DTSBDC: Join us for an open rehearsal!

Dana Tai Soon Burgess and dancers rehearsing in studio.

Join the Diplomats of Dance Society on Saturday, March 11th, to observe Dana Tai Soon Burgess Dance Conpany in rehearsal as they prepare for an upcoming tour to New Mexico. This behind-the-scenes event will be held at the dance studio at Georgetown Day School (4200 Davenport Street, N.W., Washington, D.C.) from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. For information, visit

Dana Tai Soon Burgess Dance Company recently made history by being named the Smithsonian's first-ever resident dance company at the National Portrait Gallery. As Washington's main modern dance organization, they have a unique movement aesthetic that incorporates multiple artistic disciplines into their shows and work. Their all-original modern dance works tell stories that cross the barriers of time and culture. Dana Tai Soon Burgess's internationally renowned choreography is empathetic to our universal human condition. He has been called the "poet laureate of Washington dance" and described as a "national dance treasure" by the Washington Post's Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Sarah Kaufman.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

DTSBDC Dance and Movement Classes at Glen Echo Park

Dana Tai Soon Burgess Dance Company (DTSBDC) will present a variety of classes at Glen Echo Park! The classes will be infused with the unique 'movement vocabulary' that founder and choreographer Dana Tai Soon Burgess has developed over two decades as a critically acclaimed and internationally renowned choreographer. DTSBDC, now in entering its 25th season, is the preeminient contemporary dance company of the Washington D.C. region.

Artistic Director and choreographer Dana Tai Soon Burgess has been awarded multiple honors including the Mayor's Art Award, two Senior Fulbrights, the Pola Nirenska Award and seven Metro D.C. Dance Awards. The company has toured around the world as a U.S. State Department Cultural Envoy to represent the United States abroad. DTSBDC also tours nationally and has performed at the White House at the invitation of the President and First Lady Obama. Most recently, DTSBDC made history as the first dance company to be in residence at the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery.

As a contemporary modern dance company, DTSBDC teachers are offering dance classes to teens and adults in the many styles of dance that are incorporated in Mr. Burgess' unique style of movement.

On Thursday, January 5th, the #DiplomatsOfDance host committee joined for Dana Tai Soon Burgess Dance Company's first 'Stretch and Strength' class of 2017 taught by dancer Ben Sanders, a unique class that builds strength and flexibility while protecting joints and muscles. It was marvelous!

Register now for a variety of dance classes at!

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Monday, July 25, 2016

Diplomats of Dance to host cocktail hour following DTSBDC's Asian American performance lecture series in August!

Photo from Burgess' 2009 premiere of "Island". Copyright Mary Noble Ours.

Dana Tai Soon Burgess Dance Company, Washington, DC’s premiere modern dance company, performs excerpts from its critically acclaimed dances that highlight the Asian American Diaspora in the Mead Theatre Lab at CulturalDC's Flashpoint in DC's Chinatown. Each work is contextualized historically by Asian American scholars, who will be present each evening.

Dana Tai Soon Burgess Dance Company (DTSBDC) will be at Flashpoint Gallery’s Mead TheatreLab on Aug. 12-13 and 19-20 at 7pm as part of a free performance/lecture series focused on the company’s Asian-American-themed pieces including excerpts from “ChinoLatino,” “Charlie Chan and The Mystery of Love,” “Hyphen,” “Becoming American,” “Tracings” and “Island.” Post-performance panel discussions will feature DTSBDC founder and artistic director Burgess; journalist and author Jenny Chen; and Asian-American activist and philanthropist Rosetta Lai. CulturalDC's Flashpoint is located at 916 G Street, N.W.

All four evenings have sold out.

For those who have already reserved seating at any of the four  evenings, the Diplomats of Dance Society will host a cocktail hour at nearby Asia Nine restaurant each night following the performance-lectures. Please email to RSVP.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Post-performance reception celebrating the Dana Tai Soon Burgess Dance Company’s newest creation!

The Diplomats of Dance Society will host a post-performance champagne reception with Choreographer Dana Tai Soon Burgess and his dancers!

WASHINGTON - Feb. 10, 2016 - PRLog -- The Diplomats of Dance Society is excited to announce a post-performance champagne reception in celebration of the newest dance work by the Dana Tai Soon Burgess Dance Company (DTSBDC). On February 28, 2016 at 2:00pm and 6:00pm the public is invited to a free dance performance at the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery. Following the 6:00pm performance, the Diplomats of Dance Society will host a reception at NoPa in celebration of the dance company, tickets can be purchased at in advance at $20 for society members and $40 for non-members.
Scene from a past Burgess dance work (Charlie Chan and the Mystery of Love).
Time after time, the DTSBDC provides global audiences with cross-cultural perspectives while utilizing visual, musical, and spoken arts as well. Choreographer Dana Tai Soon Burgess’s latest creation is no different. Inspired by Alexander Gardner’s famous Civil War-era images, Burgess promises a powerful and moving performance in, “The Foster Suite: The Remains of Loss and Longing”.

The Diplomats of Dance Society is an organization dedicated to highlighting and supporting the DTSBDC’s unique artistic and cultural work both in the United States and abroad. Young professionals and art-interested Washingtonians alike come together at events throughout the year to applaud Burgess and his dance company. Members and donations for the Diplomats of Dance Society directly support ‘dance diplomacy’ as DC’s foremost modern dance group prepares to embark on two international tours as a U.S. State Department cultural envoy in 2016.

To become a Diplomat of Dance, please find information on the Become a Diplomat page.

See this press release on PRLog here
Download the PDF here

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Cocktails for Dance in Dupont!

This is already almost sold out! 

After our e-list and word-of-mouth, there are very few tickets remaining, but please join us to celebrate Dana Tai Soon Burgess Dance Company's powerful 2015 season. Toast to 'dance diplomacy' and cultural-sharing alongside Dana, the DTSBDC dancers, supporters and Board members. 

Saturday, December 5th from 5-7pm:
Join the Diplomats of Dance Society for a 'friendraiser' cocktail party to celebrate the amazing performance season the Dana Tai Soon Burgess Dance Company has enjoyed this year! Hosted at the beautiful private home of DTSBDC Board Member Dedi Gunawan and Dr. Wayne Hickory in the heart of Dupont Circle, this will be a fun opportunity to spend time with Dana, the dancers, and the DTSBDC team, as well as fellow supporters of Washington's premiere modern dance company. Help congratulate them on an incredible and critically-acclaimed year of original and superb dances!
Buy tickets to Cocktails for Dance in Dupont.

If we don't see you there (which we hope to, but again...almost sold out!) please become (or renew as) a Diplomat of Dance. Today is a perfect day to do so, since it's #GivingTuesday!  

Questions? Email

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Some of the press and reviews for new dance "We choose to go to the moon" at the Kennedy Center!

Selections of the great press surrounding DTSBDC's world premiere of the dance work "We choose to go to the moon", created in collaboration with NASA, at the Kennedy Center in September, 2015:

Dana Tai Soon Burgess dancers cosmically intertwine art and science

"...left you with the intricate satisfaction of a work of art."
Read more of the wonderful The Washington Post review by Pulitzer Prize winner Sarah Kaufman!

So can Washington dance? Dana Tai Soon Burgess weighs in.
"Should people really dance as if no one was looking?
[Laughs.] I think in the quietude of their own home, yes. "
Read more in The Washington Post interview.

A Dancer and a Scientist Deliver a New Take on the Moon Walk

Read more of the fascinating story behind DTSBDC's new dance work in Smithsonian Magazine

‘We Choose to Go to the Moon’: Kennedy dream inspires a dance

Dana sat down with Sarah Kaufman from The Washington Post to talk about the inspiration for his new work created in collaboration with NASA: We choose to go to the moon.
Read it in The Washington Post!

Dana Tai Soon Burgess Premieres Fluency in Four in Tribute to His Late Father

“I want to honor that generation,” he says.
Read the article in Washingtonian Magazine

Dana Tai Soon Burgess, dancers, and new space-inspired dance work featured on BBC World News
Watch the video on!

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Press Release

View our press release at

New space-inspired Dana Tai Soon Burgess work premiering at Kennedy Center

DC's foremost modern dance company 'dances with the stars' in world premiere of "We choose to go to the moon", a unique dance created in collaboration with NASA, at the Kennedy Center Sept. 19-20 - and the Diplomats of Dance Society will have your intermission beverage waiting for you!

For a PDF click HERE

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Dana's Washington

 Dana is interviewed about the premiere of DTSBDC's new dance at the Kennedy Center this month, as well as his favorite DC places in the September 2015 print issue of Where Magazine! Click to enlarge.

Dana talked about the inspiration for "We choose to go to the moon" in the September issue of Washingtonian magazine! Click to enlarge.
From Washingtonian magazine (Emily Codik):
Last year, Dana Tai Soon Burgess (top) was in Santa Fe visiting his ill father. The choreographer gazed at the pitch-black sky one evening, and his thoughts began to race—from man’s obsession with the heavens to the vulnerability of human life to the space race and his father’s ebbing generation. “We’ve all looked up into the night sky at one point and pondered existence,” Burgess says. “What does that mean in terms of our own human experience?”
When he returned to DC, he called NASA and made a bold proposition: He wanted to create a work based on that very question. The space agency jumped aboard, and Burgess quickly immersed himself in a world he knew little about. He interviewed astrophysicists, an astronaut from the Apollo program, and a medicine woman whose father had worked as a NASA engineer in the 1960s. To create the musical score, he combined those interviews with tunes from the late ’50s. “It’s been such a fascinating journey as an artist,” he says.
That journey culminates with “We Choose to Go to the Moon” (above)—a piece premiering alongside three other repertory works in an evening titled Fluency in Four. Burgess’s father recently died, and he calls this work a tribute: “I want to honor that generation.”

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Diplomats of Dance enjoy private tour of NPG's "Eye Pop: The Celebrity Gaze" with Dana Tai Soon Burgess

On July 11, 2015, the Diplomats of Dance Society arranged a private, docent-led tour of the National Portrait Gallery's new exhibition "Eye Pop: The Celebrity Gaze", which features among its familiar faces DC's very own mainstay choreographer Dana Tai Soon Burgess (in a portrait by CYJO).

Lucky RSVP-ers to the very intimate occasion enjoyed a full prĂ©cis of the famous faces on display, which included Oprah Winfrey, Michelle Obama, Brad Pitt and - across from Dana's portrait - Britney Spears and Peter Dinklage. The unique approach that the Smithsonian museum has taken with this special exhibit (on view through July 10, 2016) is evident, and the selected works are diverse in subject as well as medium. From the Smithsonian:
"This exhibition features 53 portraits of luminaries who have been at the top of their fields. See them in drawings, paintings, video portraits, photographs, sculpture, and prints. Many of these works of art have never been publicly displayed and all recent additions to the museum's collection. Taken together, these portraits allow us to question celebrity and peel back its layers."
After the tour, attendees enjoyed refreshments in the Portrait Gallery's beautiful Kogod Courtyard, and Dana chatted with everyone about his upcoming Kennedy Center show in September, which will include a new dance work that is a result of a collaboration with NASA!

See more pictures in (and join) our Facebook group!

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Press Release

View our press release at

Culture group to visit National Portrait Gallery's "Eye Pop" exhibition to see Dana Tai Soon Burgess

The Diplomats of Dance Society will visit the museum's new exhibition to see the DC-based choreographer's portrait alongside 53 famous faces

For a PDF click HERE

See Dana's portrait at the National Portrait Gallery with us on July 11th!

Dear Diplomats and friends,

Mark your calendar! As we mentioned in an email to our members, we are so excited about the National Portrait Gallery's upcoming exhibition "Eye Pop: The Celebrity Gaze" that will feature a portrait of Dana Tai Soon Burgess alongside the recognizable faces of Katy Perry, Marc Jacobs and Oprah Winfrey! Dana stopped by NPG ahead of the exhibition's launch - check out images from that on DTSBDC's Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

The Diplomats of Dance Society will be doing a group visit to the National Portrait Gallery on Saturday, July 11th at 2pm. We will receive a private, docent-led tour of the new "Eye Pop" exhibition, see Dana's photograph by artist CYJO on display, followed by libations and conversation with Dana outside the Courtyard Cafe in the museum's beautiful Kogod Courtyard!

From the National Portrait Gallery:
In a world consumed by personal and celebrity image making, the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery considers how personalities are constructed with “Eye Pop: The Celebrity Gaze.” The exhibition features 53 portraits and will be open at the Portrait Gallery May 22 through July 10, 2016.
See the NPG's press release here.

Dana Tai Soon Burgess Dance Company (DTSBDC) has performed at the National Portrait Gallery before, including as part of their 2013-2014 "Dancing the Dream" exhibition, where Dana and his dancers choreographed and premiered two new dance works as a 'living exhibit' component to the exhibition ("Homage" and "Confluence" were also performed at the Kennedy Center in 2014). See the Washington Post's article about it here:
Dana Tai Soon Burgess and company bring National Portrait Gallery exhibit to life

This innovative exhibition gives a wonderful opportunity to visit the magnificent National Portrait Gallery with friends, support the preeminent modern dance company of the nation's capital and its choreographer, who is "not only a Washington prize, but a national dance treasure" (Pulitzer Prize-winner Sarah Kaufman, The Washington Post).

So, have brunch - or sleep late - and then join us at 2pm* in the F Street entrance lobby of the National Portrait Gallery! Please feel free to forward this and invite friends!

Spaces for the tour are very limited, so please RSVP ASAP!

*Please arrive before 2pm to assemble prior to the tour.


Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Dana Tai Soon Burgess portrait featured in new "Eye Pop: The Celebrity Gaze" exhibition at National Portrait Gallery!

A portrait of choreographer Dana Tai Soon Burgess will be among 54 others in the upcoming "Eye Pop: The Celebrity Gaze" exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery. His portrait, a photograph by the artist CYJO, will hang alongside other familiar faces from May 22, 2015 through July 10, 2016.

From the Smithsonian:
In a world consumed by personal and celebrity image making, the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery considers how personalities are constructed with “Eye Pop: The Celebrity Gaze."
Go and read more at the official Smithsonian Newsdesk site, or read their press release!

This is exciting! Stay tuned for details of a Diplomats of Dance Society event around this fascinating new exhibition that features the namesake behind the incredible dance company that we support!